SON partners civil society groups to rid nation of substandard goods
In a bid to intensify its war on substandard goods in the country, the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) has solicited the cooperation of civil society organizations (CSOs) within the country to assist the agency’s determination to rid Nigeria of activities of producers of fake and substandard goods and importers of same.
To this end, the agency said it will extend its tentacles to the nooks and crannies of the country through the engagement of the CSOs which are mostly located in other parts of the country.
This, the agency said has become imperative due to insufficiency in its 1400 staff strength.
Giving this indication in Abuja, on Monday during a one-day round table between the agency and the CSO to discuss how to achieve zero tolerance for fake and substandard goods and also to launch the agency’s new initiative tagged ‘operation e-flush’ geared towards check mating the menace of substandard products in Nigeria, the Director-General of the agency, Dr Joseph Odumodu insisted that Nigeria cannot continue to be a safe haven for importers and producers of bad products to the detriment of the health and wellbeing of the people.
He said the negative effects of these products also have its impact on the environment and the agency would not fold its hands and wait until the environment begins to fight back.
The idea of the collaboration, according to Odumodu,is to empower the CSOs to function as staff of the agency in places where its staff are limited.
He said since the agency cannot engage more hands for now on terms of recruitment, it is necessary for it to engage other Nigerians to fight and win the war against substandard goods.
The SON boss maintained that only Nigerians alone can put an end to the business ventures of producers of these goods by simply not patronizing them, adding that as long as producers still enjoy patronage, then their businesses will continue to boom.
He said the slogan of the agency’s jingle ‘look well well’ has taken a step further to ‘ask well well’. This he said is a message to consumers to always check and ask questions before making any purchase. On the part of wholesalers and retailers, Odumodu said the message is ‘Don’t stock, don’t sell’.
His words: “We are pleading with wholesalers and retailers alike to patronize only manufacturers and importers whose products are e-registered”.
Odumodu said the agency is out to reward retailers who stock e-registered products and have passed the periodic random quality compliance checks by recognizing them with market champion awards. This move he said will be a demonstration to Nigerians that the agency is not all about punitive measures.
He went further: “Operation e-flush is also coming at a time our six point agenda – compliance, monitoring through market raids of various industries, consumer engagement, media engagement, capacity building, developing the competitiveness of locally made goods and global relevance has been collapsed into the MINFOW (Made in Nigeria For The World) for easier grasp and focus”.
He said e-product registration will continue so that products would not clash with operation e-flush.
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